Quote of the Day

The Rabbis teach that in messianic times, “when all the other festivals will be abolished, Purim will remain.” (Midrash Mishle 9:2) Why?

Why is this strange, party-strewn, hero and villain tale so powerful that it must never disappear? Perhaps the secret is that Purim is the only holiday set aside for laughter. Skits, sketches, revelry, joking — these are all part of Purim. Purim occurs in Adar, the month when, the Rabbis tells us, we are invariably joyful. Of all the things that mark human life — pain, seeking, questioning, spirituality, hope — could it be that laughter alone abides?

In the Talmud, (Ta’anit 22a) we read that a certain Rav Beroka once met Elijah the prophet in the marketplace. Visitations from Elijah are periodically recorded in rabbinic literature. Elijah brings wisdom and counsel to this world. Rav Beroka asks who of those in the marketplace will inherit the world to come. Elijah points to two men.

Rav Beroka wants to figure out what accomplishment separates these two from their fellows. “What is your occupation?” Rav Beroka asks.

They answer: “We are jesters. We make the sad laugh, and when we see two people arguing, we try to make peace between them.” Happy Purim, forever.

-Rabbi David Wolpe from this week’s “Off the Pulpit.”

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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1 Response to Quote of the Day

  1. Vladislav Nagirner says:

    Yes, it is an interesting words of midrash about Purim. Toda raba.

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